Mammillaria of the Month

(click here for previous Mamms of the Month)

Mammillaria pilispina

Mammillaria pilispina - in habitat near Mier y Noriega, NL.                        Copyright Chris Davies 2012       


This month’s Mammillaria is  a member of the Proliferae Series, the best known member of which is, of course, Mammillaria prolifera.

Mammillaria pilispina is less well known, but is one of those plants that is easily overlooked, often because it stays small, though it will offset in later years, and its flowering period tends to be quite lengthy.

It comes from the Mexican states of Nuevo Leon and San Luis Potosi, growing most often in the semi-shade of spiny bushes and trees. In cultivation, it is easy to grow from seed, germinating generaaly very well, and it is a fairly slow grower afterwards, needing a soil of average porosity, and as ever with slower growing species, a light hand with the watering can.

There are a number of synonyms of this species, some of which have been published relatively recently, which reflects the variability of the plant, mainly in body colour and spine colour. The flowers don't vary very much, and the plants generally flower from an early age, often in their second year. Given good conditions, the plants will offset, but even then will not do so as rapidly  as M. prolifera.

The photos shown here are of plants in collection and in habitat.

Mammillaria pilispina in habitat, between Cerritos and Pozos, SLP  

Mammillaria pilispina (odehnalii) in cultivation

Mammillaria pilispina Rep 1006,from Huizache, SLP, in cultivation  

Mammillaria pilispina (rayonensis) Rep1290 from Rayones, NL, in cultivation